Eight Tips for New Caregivers

New CaregiversMom just had a stroke and Dad is having a hard time caring for Mom, his own diabetes, and household chores. This may put you in the position of having to take on new caregiving responsibilities. Being a new caregiver is a demanding role requiring an abundance of patience, compassion and self-care. Here is some advice people who’ve had some experience with caregiving offer to those who are starting in the role:

  • Educate Yourself. Learn as much as you can about your loved one’s diagnosis and what you can expect in both the immediate and not-so-near future. Learning about the changes that are likely to follow will provide you with the information you need to ensure both you and your loved one are well taken care of.
  • Be Gentle With Yourself. You will likely go through a range of emotions—grief, anger, resentment and guilt, to name a few. Recognize that these are a normal part of dealing with your new situation and allow yourself to experience each emotion freely as it arises.
  • Maintain Your Regular Health Routine. Continue to exercise, eat well, get enough sleep and keep all medical appointments. Consider learning a stress-management technique such as yoga or tai chi. Keeping yourself healthy is an important part of being the best possible caregiver for your loved one.
  • Meditate. Find some time to be simply still. Quiet your mind as much as possible whenever things feel like they are moving too fast or you are feeling overwhelmed. One thing most caregivers share is that it’s a great challenge to find time for themselves—yet this should be a top priority to allow you to rest and refresh yourself in body, mind and spirit.
  • Ask For Help. Family members and friends often are more than willing to help caregivers with their duties. But they may hesitate to ask. Speak up!
  • Bring In A Professional. Family and friends can be a great help, but this is just the start. Take the time to find out about resources available in your community, such as senior centers and other senior services organizations. Many families find the help of a geriatric care manager to be well worth the fees these experts charge. And to help keep your loved one safe at home while providing respite for you, professional in-home care is an important part of the care plan. In-home caregivers can provide a variety of services, including personal care, medication reminders, meal planning and cooking, transportation, light housekeeping, and companionship.
  • Take Some Time Off. Getting away, whether it’s a week-long trip, a weekend escape, or even a single day indulging in something you love, can make all the difference in maintaining your health and sanity. Ask another family member or friend to stay with your loved one. Or take advantage of respite care provided by a reputable in-home care agency. Knowing your loved one is well cared for will allow you to relax all the more during your time off.
  • Socialize. Continue spending time with your circle of friends. This will help you maintain a sense of self. But if you sense that you’re spending too much of the conversation discussing your loved one and your caregiving challenges, consider joining a support group! Just knowing that you’re not alone can provide a real morale boost. Support groups are also a great place to get practical advice and discover the variety of resources available to you. And you’ll most likely make some new friends.

Nurses Choice Award Presented to Align

Nurses ChoiceAlign Home Health, Dayton’s leader in home senior care, has been awarded the prestigious CarePathway’s Nurses Choice Award, based on CarePathway’s stringent care standards.

Align Home Health is recognized for providing peace of mind by being committed to quality care. The agency follows up with families on a regular basis and supervises their caregivers to ensure quality care is being provided.

Another measurement used by CarePathways is confidence in the agency. Align is protected by required liability insurance and their caregivers are bonded. They also perform background checks on all of their employees. Align accepts duties such as hiring qualified caregivers, verifying job training, managing work schedules, and supervising caregivers.

Dependability is an important benefit, especially when the agency provides accessible, 24-hour emergency contact for backup caregivers and necessary schedule changes.

And finally, simplicity: easier decision making when several home care choices are available.

CarePathways.com was created and is maintained by registered nurses dedicated to optimizing a family’s access to valid information and credible services about senior care and housing options. Their goal to educate families about the types of care options available in order to help them to better understand what might be the best choice for their aging loved ones. Access to their on-line databases facilitates the difficult search for home care, assisted living, retirement homes, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

Align Home Health provides a suite of services designed for independent people who have a desire to remain in their homes, but need some assistance in daily tasks and chores. Typical services include personalized care, companionship, meal preparation, transportation, medication reminders, home basics, light housekeeping, laundry assistance, and pet care. In addition, Align is the only agency that advances care by also including their AlignMATCH™ System, Digital Caregiver Clock-In, 24-Hour Nurse Line, Online Family Portal, Alternative Therapies, and Memory Retention Therapy.

Says Director, Josh Ison, “The Nurses Choice Award illustrates Align’s commitment to quality, honesty, and the best in home care.”

The Align Home Health team serves clients in the Greater Miami Valley & Dayton area, as well as throughout Montgomery and Greene Counties.